Monday, September 29, 2008

I Love Fall

I love living in a state that has four favorite is fall. I love the colors of the leaves and the crunch they make as I walk through them with my dog. I love my street when it is covered in leaves and the trees on either side create a tunnel of color to drive through. The smell of fall leaves always takes me back to my elementary years of jumping into large piles with my friends and then burrowing down into them to hide from the boys hoping that they would come find us.
I love the cool, crisp air. I can turn on the oven and bake my fall favorites filling my house with the aroma of cinnimon or even better chocolate.
I love rotating into my fall wardrobe...I love the feel of my favorite sweatshirt all cozy and warm.
But most of all, I love the fall holidays..I love to decorate with fall leaves and pumpkins and scary skeletons and ghosts. I love the flickering light that the candles make when the sun goes down early.
I love Thanksgiving when family all get together and I get to cook all of my favorite holiday recipes. I love the look on my family's faces when they come to the Thanksgiving table to feast together. That is what I like the most about fall...being with my family and enjoying all the season has to offer.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Driver's Permit

It is an interesting hand the keys of the car over to your teenager to teach him how to drive. I find each time I hear the words, "Mom, can I drive?" I stop dead in my tracks and a loud voice wants to scream....."NO!" And yet I quietly hand the keys over into his hands and smile as I see his face light up with excitement.
I have mixed feelings as he starts the engine and slowly backs the car out of the garage. We giggle when he makes a funny turn...we scream when we get scared....we talk in between instructions (because there is no music allowed while I am teaching) and we learn to trust each other. I am proud to see the progress that he has made and yet I fear the day he will be doing this very thing with out me.
And yet......I hope that like every other transition I have feared and then lived through with him...I will probably smile with pride and find it doesn't hurt nearly as much as I thought it would.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Will Never Forget

Remembering 9/11

Author: Unknown

As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,
We became one color.
As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building,
We became one class.
As we lit candles of waiting and hoping,
We became one generation.
As the firefighters and police officers fought their way into the inferno,
We became one gender.
As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength,
We became one faith.
As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement,
We spoke one language.
As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,
We became one body.
As we mourned together the great loss,
We became one family.
As we cried tears of grief and loss,
We became one soul.
As we retell with pride the sacrifice of heroes,
We become one people.
I will never forget September 11, 2001. I will never forget the feeling of disbelief when my husband, called me and told me to turn on the news and I found that an airliner had crashed into the World Trade Center. I will never forget the horror I felt as I watched live on television, another airliner fly into the second tower. My family was already at my house. It was to be a big day for us...we were sending my baby brother on his mission. He was supposed to fly directly to the MTC in Brazil that day. Just before turning on the news, we were sitting on the floor of my living room floor. Dusty had all of his stuff spread in stacks around the room, checking to make sure nothing would be left behind. All that preparation came to a stop as we stood around the television in shock. I will never forget the shock I felt when still another plane flew into the Pentagon. We realized as the airlines started shutting down all of their flights, that Dusty would not be flying out. We huddled close together and watched...glued to the television. I will never forget the panic I felt when a fourth plane crashed into an empty field. I will never forget feeling that this attack might not ever end. I will never forget the looks on my little boys faces as they watched the attacks play out on the television like an action film. I will never forget when they saw the horror of people jumping out of the building and they thought it was the tall white building that their dad worked in in Salt Lake City. What a relief it was to them when we called their dad and they were able to talk to him and know that he was safe. I will never forget the horror I felt when the first and then the second tower collapsed. I will never forget feeling so thankful that my family was together in my home that day. My kids, my mother, brothers, sister and her husband, and my grandmother and grandfather. I will never forget the family prayer that my grandfather shared as we knelt in a circle. I will never forget the gratitude I felt when my husband walked in the door from work that day. I will never forget feeling that nothing would ever be the same again as I rode around Layton with my brother Dustin searching for a copy of the day's paper. I will never forget the feeling of love as I tucked my boys into bed that night with words of reassurance. I will never forget the feeling of security I felt in a world of uncertainty when I read my scriptures that night before drifting off to sleep.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back To School

Wow!!! Summer went way too fast!

School has started. It was a very strange feeling to take my oldest son, Tyler and drop him off at high school. There is no way I am old enough to have a high schooler. The icing on the cake:? He attends Layton High, the same high school I attended 20 years ago. The halls, the office, the gym, the lunchroom, the auditorium, even the band room are all the same....except that they have just begun construction. It will all change soon. Tyler came home from school the first day so excited. He loved his classes....but what he loved most of all was that he could leave the school for lunch AND they had a whole hour. Dez, a family friend, picked up Tyler and some of his friends and they drove around and eventually ate at Dans. Now he has me pack home lunches and he crosses the street and eats at Layton Park with his friends.

Brandon, started Jr. High. I no longer have any elementary students. He came home a little dazed. I think having seven classes was an eye opener. He is not thrilled by the amount of homework but is doing well in spite of the load. His favorite part of school is the vending machines and lunch! He says its "way better" than elementary school.

I started school too. I left my job at the elementary school and transfered over to the Jr. High as the Lab Manager. It has been more of an adjustment than I expected it to be. I enjoy it, but the kids are so different. The elementary kids were always so eager to see me and tell me about their adventures. I feel a little invisible over at the Jr. High. The kids are nice, but not quite so eager to associate with me. I do enjoy them though...they are quirky! I am getting to know the teachers and the layout of the school. The first day of school, I had several seventh graders come up and ask me where classrooms were and I was as lost as they were.

So far so good. I think it is going to be a great year!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Summer Vacation

We went on a last minute vacation to California this fall. Melissa, my sister was visiting from Logan with her two little girls when my son, Tyler came in and mentioned that dad had said we might go to California next week.

I realized that if that was so, we would be leaving the next day; Friday, after Walter got off of work, so that we could drive through the night and be there for the weekend.

We left on this trip with out a plan and it ended up being one of the best family vacations we have ever had.

We left Layton, Utah at 6:30 that evening after Walter got off of work and we drove west on I-80 through the night. We were pretty tired when we started down the west side of the Sierras. We stopped at a little rest area and rested before heading into San Francisco. We were amazed by the size of the barges as we crossed the Bay Bridge. We parked the car near Pier 39 and spent the whole day there. We ate breakfast on the pier before we went through the Aquarium. Tyler and Brandon loved the "Walk Under the Bay" We watched the barking seals next to the pier, climbed an old Navy battleship called the "Jeremiah O'Brian", went through the Wax Museum, and Ripley's Believe it or Not. Then we found a farmers market with all kinds of fruit. We ate fruit and nuts and ice cream cones as we sat on a bench and watched the sailboats roll on the waves.

That night we stayed in Berkley, but got up the next morning and went back over the Bay Bridge into San Francisco. We planned to go to Chinatown, but our Suburban is so big we could not find a place to park. Finally we gave up and we went over to the Golden Gate Bridge. We crossed over it and parked on the north side where we got out of the car and walked back half way over the bridge. It was foggy and cold and it felt wonderful. Back home it was supposed to be 100 degrees F.

That afternoon we spent driving down I-5 towards LA. That might have been the most boring drive I have ever been on. Miles upon miles of farmland for 5 hours. It was interesting to see how much food was being grown. I had never seen farms that size, but it got old after a while.

We stayed in Venice that night. The next morning we went down to the beach. We spent the whole day at Venice beach. It was perfect weather. We swam and layed out on the blanket on the beach. Around 6 we left the beach and headed into LA to meet with Walter's cousin Alyson. We met her at the famous "Roscoes" for chicken and waffles. It was good, but not all it was hyped up to be. Then we drove down into Hollywood and walked the stars and went into Virgin Records and Kodak Theatre. We were exhausted, but we drove down towards Anaheim.

The next morning we got up and drove down into San Diego. We got a hotel room and then hopped onto a train that took us to the Mexican Border. We then grabbed a taxi. He took us straight through town to a flea market. On the way we passed the city prison. We could see the rifled guards posted on top. Once at the market, we had a lot of fun shopping for clothing and movies, and souveniors. That night as we were going through customs, Walter and the boys got through just fine, but when it came to me, we realized my birth certificate got left behind at home. We weren't sure if I was going to be able to come back over the border. I was told to make sure I bring it next time...It gave me quite a scare to think I might have to stay in Mexico by myself, even for a little bit. We rode the train back into San Diego laughing about the possibility of me having to stay behind.

The next day we went to Sea World. What a fun place. We watched Shamu in fascination, along with the seals and the dolphins. We rode the rides and enjoyed a day together.... Then the next day we went to Knottsberry Farm. We went on big, wild, scary rides and by the end of the day we were all on headache medicine...but we had a wonderful time.

We stayed that night with Alyson. We stayed up visiting with her until way too late...but we enjoyed catching up with her. The next morning, we got up fed the kids breakfast and left for home. We stopped in Las Vegas for dinner at Circus Circus. It was crowded, but the food was good. We couldn't believe how incredibly hot it was once you stepped out of the casino. Then we drove the rest of the way home and we got back about one o'clock in the morning.

For not having planned the trip ahead of time...we had a wonderful time.